Options Exist When The Employer Has No Insurance

A client injured his shoulder while working in Kansas. The employer failed to renew its workers' compensation policy and had no coverage on the date of loss. It paid for a couple of doctor visits but then suddenly denied the claim completely once surgery was recommended. They stopped paying him lost time benefits as well.

The injured worker then hired us to prove that his injury happened on the job and that he was entitled to both the surgery and temporary total disability benefits. We prevailed at preliminary hearing, but the employer refused to honor the Order. As a result, we brought in the Kansas Workers' Compensation Fund as a party to the claim. In Kansas, if an employer fails to carry workers' compensation insurance and is financially unable or unwilling to properly provide benefits, a claim can be brought against the Fund. They then act as the insurance carrier to see that treatment and benefits are provided in a timely manner. Of course, the Fund then goes after the employer for all related costs as well as penalties for failing to carry insurance.

In this particular case, the employer is already up to $27,000 in fines on top of the medical bills and benefits they will ultimately have to pay back to the Fund. If they fail to do so, criminal charges can be brought. Needless to say, an uninsured employer will lie, threaten and do just about anything to get an injured worker to sweep the accident under the rug. More often than not, that worker will ultimately be fired and will be stuck with medical bills to pay and an injury that was never properly treated. Don't let yourself be pushed around! Your health and your future are too important.